Memorization Increases Understanding in Local School Group

by Angela Rockwood November 8, 2010

The brains of local school children have been flexed in the Rockwood Homeschool.  Snatches of poetry, history and prose can be heard on the breeze as classics are committed to memory.

I recently visited the Rockwood classroom and had the opportunity to see the technique in action.  I asked Ava, a student, what sorts of things they were memorizing, she had quite a list:  “The first thing I memorized was the Articles of Faith.  The Articles of Faith are tools to help you with your life.  There are 13 of them, most were pretty easy, but the 13th was the hardest.  I also memorized “The Village Blacksmith” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the Preamble of the Constitution.”

What can be learned from memorizing the Preamble?  Anna Rockwood, another student had a quick answer.  “I learned the founding principles, the things our Founding Fathers used, and why they wrote the Declaration of Independence.  They wanted to establish justice, make peace, protect their families and help everyone to be free as best they could.  That’s pretty important to understand, the government is not there to boss you.  We need to have a little bit less government bossing us in our country.  It seems like we are getting less and less freedom.”

When asked whether memorization was an effective learning tool,  Gabrien replied, “Yes, because it helps your mind remember things better, even math equations.”  Do you find it difficult to remember so many great works?  Not at all, he says.  “A great way to do it is to use hand motions, that helps me.”

What’s next?  “Hope Is The Thing With Feathers” by Emily Dickenson, and perhaps who knows?  The Gettysburg Address!

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